Sunday, May 17, 2009

Media circus

The results are out, finally. The last few months have been long on rhetoric and short on news, if you have been following the elections. But in this whole election campaign, I think one entity has lost its shirt. And that is the media.

Take any media outlet. Take any medium. Each and every one of them have consistenly and methodically shown us, like the old bioscope wallah, the images and stories they want us to see. 

That is the secondary aspect. The primary aspect is that the veneer of impartiality of the media is completely knocked down - in my eyes, atleast. There is only party (or two) that the media shills for. 

The pages and pages they have devoted to scions and scionesses of families while keeping silent about their capability are a witness to their so called impartiality. The many f(y)awning interviews that they conducted with them, while sparing them (m)any uncomfortable questions and doing so, having attempted to build their image in our eyes have left me completely unenthused about them. Every article that had the word youth had a picture of the icon and every article that the name of the icon had both the word "youth" and a smiling picture. Amazing subliminal (actually, remove the sub) messaging. But it will be a long while (surely longer than 15 minutes) before India shares the enthusiasm of the media to someone who merely inherited his position. And now they can all prove themselves worthy of such adulation.

Aside: Btw, there was such huge coverage for the reluctant scioness on Mothers day that I almost mistook it for Daughters day.

A word here on Bangalores media. The only candidate who seemed to have got any coverage was Krishna Byre Gowda, or maybe, I was viewing the paper through KBG coloured lenses. He was there in coffee bars, cycles, padyatras, holding banners and what not. No Ananth Kumar anywhere. And no other candidates at all were covered, except as errata or misprints. He lost after a tough fight, but perhaps Ananth had to fight harder since he did not have media to support him.

They tried their best to tell us that history began in 2002, until Jarnail Singh threw an old shoe and caused a collective eruption of conscience warts. (Ever wonder why 1984 in their words is just "riots" with 4000+ deaths while 2002 is a "pogrom"? And 26/11 is a terror attack - never massacre.) Well, actually he remembered. Most of the others affected in the pre-Gujarat 2002 and others are dead to tell any tales, much less throw a shoe. But, the media had started a new form of history called BG and AG and the focus was always on AG (after Gujarat). So, while they collectively erased the 1984 carnage (hell, we forgot 26/11), one Jarnail Singh did the trick. Of course in many layered edits that would require a cryptoanalyst to decipher, they did remind us that countless enquiry commissions later, not one politician accused has been convicted for 1984. The clean chits would impress any detergent manufacturer - I hear the next clean chit will have one of them as sponsors.

They stood by as the PiP (Party in power) slowly but surely rewarded loyalists their positions. The media did not for once question the Congress proclivity of eroding the neutrality of the watchdogs" of our democratic system. I need not name them.

They did not, remind us that there were dastardly terror attacks in nearly every few months since this government was in power. And each terror attack was fought in words - only. There was nothing done to assure our own security. Mumbai in particular was attacked thrice over. Delhi was. As was Jaipur. Bangalore. Varanasi. Hyderabad. Hundreds of lives were lost while shopping, eating, travelling for no fault of theirs. And towards the fag end of their tenure the only thing that UPA did was bring in a spin bowler as home minister. And the media completely forgot that something like 26/11 had happened. Where 183 people were massacred by jihadi terrorists. 

They swept, very neatly - I would love to have them as maid, the Bofors thing under the carpet so neatly, even a certain Mr. Q would be indebted. They did not tell us that the divisive agenda of the education minister were a good reason to throw him out of politics itself. They have continued to shill for the Congress through and through.

Fortunately, almost all voters are almost equally idiots - with the media, without the media, inspite of the media - and they have done what idiots do best - ignored everybody. This has been translated into a clear majority to one party, by and large.

Post script: So, this time one party has a decent, clear majority. I hope that something good for the country comes out of this over 5 years. There is work to be done - highways, power, security, focus on terror, modernizing forces, equal opportunity rather than outcome, fiscal balancing, balanced foreign policy and an overall air of anti appeasement - typically something the Congress does not focus on. With no Leftist idiots to drag them down, here is a chance for them to do the right things. 

And I hope that the media acts as a government watchdog instead of merely following their line...(or else you have the internet...)

And with that, I take a break from politics - until I break this promise...

1 comment:

BharGo said...

I thot days of "Doordarshan being called Rajivdarshan" are over... ;-))